Key messages

  • Community health services need to manage demand for their services so Victorians most in need of care are seen within appropriate timeframes.
  • The demand management framework outlines the basic principles for access to community health services.
  • The Department of Health is updating the demand management framework and priority tools.

There is growing demand for Victoria's health services, including community health services. This growth reflects our ageing population, the increased prevalence of chronic disease and higher community expectations.

Community health services need to manage demand at all three stages of a person's pathway:

  • inflow
  • flow through
  • outflow.

Community health services use community health priority tools to manage demand at the inflow stage.

The priority tools are a suite of evidence-based tools that CHSs use to ensure they see Victorians most in need of care within appropriate timeframes. 

The Demand management framework update project

The Department of Health has engaged KPMG in a project to update the demand management framework (DMF) and priority tools for community health services. Between August 2021 and March 2022, the Department of Health and KPMG will work with community health services, clinicians and consumer representatives to deliver an updated DMF and tools for community health services.

The Demand Management Framework update project will deliver:

  • an updated Demand Management Framework and priority tools that are evidence based and reflect contemporary practices
  • a consistent and user-friendly process that can be applied across all community health services and will be adaptable to meet the service and demographic requirements of individual community health services
  • updated priority groups that reflect current population and recognise the intersectionality of individual needs
  • up to three additional clinical priority tools in areas of high demand by priority cohorts
  • information and training to ensure effective use of the Demand Management Framework and tools

Community health service staff, clinicians and consumers have been invited to contribute to the Demand Management Framework update project through participation in a Project Advisory Group or discipline specific Clinical Working Groups. The Expression of Interest has now closed.

As part of the demand management framework update project, up to three new clinical priority tools will be developed. Clinical Working Groups to support the development of these tools will be established once the clinical areas for the new tools have been determined. A second Expression of Interest for the new Clinical Working Groups is expected to commence in late September.

For further information, please contact the project team at Partnerships.Primary@health.vic.gov.au.